Yesterday I bought a new blender and marveled at the incredibly large and complex instruction booklet that I found inside the box. Step-by-step directions on how to set up, use, modify, and even clean the device were laid out in an organized and easy to understand catalogue.
It made me think, virtually anything I have brought home has been accompanied by some form of guidelines or information. Many items, such as my car, even come with warning signals and signs of trouble that may come eventually.
The one thing that did not come with an itemized list of directions, preferred care instructions, or warning signs? My baby.
In preparation for this lack of direct instruction, I found myself mentally bulking up on advice. I essentially attacked other moms — new moms, experienced moms, single moms, married moms — and sought their advice. I collected books and magazines, favorited online articles, and recorded talk shows featuring parenting experts. I was a sponge, mentally cataloguing every scrap of guidance I could get my hands on.
However, by the time I had my second child I realized that through all of the advice I collected — both good and bad — there were some very, very large holes in my research. While I was so worried about searching my baby’s face and motions for little indicators to tell me what he wanted or needed, I was completely unaware of the secret signals I was giving to him.
These are just 10 of some of the signs that you may (unintentionally) be giving your child …
1. Sitting down to eat a meal is actually code for, “Go stand next to mommy and make a giant smelly diaper.”
2. A closed door is obviously an invitation. (Special note: if wiggling the fingers under the door does not magically open it, go to another part of the house and scream as if in pain. Voila — door open!)
3. Mommy getting on the phone means to …
a. Get really loud
b. Run haphazardly through the house (bonus points if you break something)
c. Throw a huge fit
d. All of the above
4. The louder the voice mommy uses, the less important the information is. Tune her out.
5. After an entire day of fighting, whining, and/or crying, the words “nap time” actually mean, “Let’s all play sweetly together to lull mommy into a false sense of security.”
6. If the baby finally falls asleep, it is time to get really, really loud.
7. Likewise, if mommy accidentally falls asleep, it is also time to get really, really loud.
8. If mommy and daddy are in a room alone, follow the same steps you would follow if mommy was on the phone. (See #3.)
9. The words “bed time” mean you are hungry/thirsty/hyper. (Don’t forget you have to go potty a few times! Wouldn’t want any accidents!!!)
10. The word “no” really means that your mommy just wants you to show how much you really want it. Proceed with crying, stomping, pleading — especially if you are in public.More On